Postdoctoral Fellow in statistical palaeoecology for ancient DNA datasets

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 19 Oct 2023

Adnan Icagic
19th October 2023

  • English

The Arctic University Museum of Norway and Academy of Fine Arts
Postdoctoral Fellow in statistical palaeoecology for ancient DNA datasets
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The position

A Postdoctoral Research Fellow position is available at the Arctic University Museum of Norway , UiT.

The position is a fixed term position for a duration of two years. Appointment to the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow is mainly intended to provide qualification for work in top academic positions. It is a prerequisite that the applicant can carry out the project over the full course of the employment period. No person may hold more than one fixed term position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the same institution.

You will conduct research as a part of the newly established Norwegian Centre for Arctic Ecosystem Genomics (ArcEcoGen) and will be part of a group working towards a better integration of paleoecological results with ecological questions about modern ecosystems and dynamics. Research at the ArcEcoGen focuses on the combined effect of humans, climate, and biota on northern ecosystem dynamics in the past, present, and future using environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques. A key goal of ArcEcoGen is to build up a diverse, rigorous, and internationally leading research group in ecosystem genomics. Norway has among the world’s best cover of local flora and fauna in DNA reference libraries, with nearly 20 000 species barcoded. In addition, the large natural history collections at The Museum will be available for creating complementary reference libraries. Our collections also include sediment samples from arctic and alpine lakes as well as DNA extracts from sediments and organisms. We also have fully equipped laboratories and infrastructure for recovery and analyses of modern, ancient, and eDNA, as well as field equipment for sediment coring. We are currently recruiting PhDs, Post Docs, and associate professors as a part of a recent UiT-Aurora Centre funding award.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position no later than 6 months after receiving the offer.

The position's field of research

A large part of the work of the Aurora Centre uses ancient DNA of various groups of organisms retrieved from lake sediment data, a method that opens a radically new window into past ecosystems. This approach provides, however, data that is very different from modern data about ecosystem structure. The aim of the synthesis work package of the Aurora Centre is to progress towards integrating these results from past communities with contemporary ecological questions and environmental issues. Ultimately, we want to learn from the past to better understand the present and predict the future. The statistical treatment of the metabarcoding data, taking into account imperfect detection and different detectability between species and samples, is for instance a topic that has received some attention recently, but needs to be fully integrated in the lake sediment DNA reconstructions to make them more relevant for ecological questions. How can we for example estimate the probability that a species that is no longer detected has disappeared from the local ecosystem? And if this species is extinct, when did it disappear, and the uncertainty of the extinction date?

You must submit an outline of research plan and how your skills align with the aim of the Aurora Centre 1-2 pages.


For further information about the position, please contact Professor Inger Greve Alsos: 

  • phone: +47 77620796
  • email:

or museum director Dr Geir Rudolfsen:

  • phone: +47 77646881
  • email:

Stig Brøndbo via Unsplash Stig Brøndbo

We are looking for a person with good quantitative skills and interest in creative application and development of statistical methods to ancient lake sediment DNA data to promote their integration into ecological research.

Required qualifications

  • A PhD in ecological statistics or relevant fields of quantitative ecology / applied statistics
  • Excellent English language skills (written and spoken) Nordic applicants can document their capabilities by attaching their high school diploma.

Desirable qualifications are experience/knowledge of the following:

  • The ecology and biodiversity of northern (arctic and boreal) ecosystems
  • Statistical analyses integrating different sources of information, and accounting for imperfect detection
  • DNA-metabarcoding data
  • Paleoenvironments
  • Cross-disciplinary work

Qualification with a PhD is required before commencement in the position. If you’re at the final stages of your PhD, you may still apply if you have submitted your PhD thesis for doctoral degree evaluation within the application deadline. You must submit the thesis with your application. You must have dissertated before the start-up date of the position.

In the assessment the main emphasis will be attached to the submitted works and the research plan for the qualifying work. Emphasis shall also be attached to experience from popularization/dissemination and academic policy and administrative activity.

During the assessment emphasis will be put on the candidate’s motivation, potential for research, and personal suitability for the position. We are looking for candidates who:

  • Have the ability to create and contribute to a well-functioning, inclusive and productive research environment
  • Have networking skills
  • Have the ability to collaborate
  • Have the ability to cooperate and communicate well with other members of staff

At UiT we put emphasis on the quality, relevance and significance of the research work and not on where the work is published, in accordance with the principles of The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA ).

Inclusion and diversity  

UiT The Arctic University i Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity is a strength, and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.  

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics. 

We offer
  • A highly competent research environment
  • Good career opportunities
  • Excellent welfare arrangements for employees
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement  
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund  

Norwegian health policy aims to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their personal finances and where they live, has access to good health and care services of equal standard. As an employee you will become member of the National Insurance Scheme which also include health care services .

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here:  


Your application must include:

  • Cover letter including a short description of interests and reasons for applying for the position
  • CV containing a complete overview of experience, professional work and references
  • Diplomas, diploma supplements and transcripts (all degrees, in original language and translated)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Two references with contact details
  • A research plan and how your skills align with the aim of the Aurora Centre 1-2 pages.
  • Description of your most relevant academic works, up to ten. The doctoral thesis is regarded as one work

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline.


The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. The committee's mandate is to undertake an assessment of the applicants' qualifications based on the written material presented by the applicants, and the detailed description draw up for the position.

The applicants who are assessed as best qualified will be called to an interview. The interview should among other things, aim to clarify the applicant’s motivation and personal suitability for the position. A trial lecture may also be held.

General information

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants . 

The remuneration for Postdoctoral research fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1352. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted. You will become a member of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which gives you many benefits in addition to a lifelong pension: You may be entitled to financial support if you become ill or disabled, your family may be entitled to financial support when you die, you become insured against occupational injury or occupational disease, and you can get good terms on a mortgage. Read more about your employee benefits at: .

The successful candidate must be willing to get involved in the ongoing development of their department and the university as a whole.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. 

Eallju - Developing the High North 

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a multi-campus comprehensive university at the international forefront. Our vision is to be a driving force for developing the High North. The Northern Sami notion eallju, which means eagerness to work, sets the tone for this motive power at UiT. Along with students, staff and the wider community, we aim to utilise our location in Northern Norway and Sápmi, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio and interdisciplinary advantage to shape the future.

Our social mission is to provide research-based education of high quality, perform artistic development and carry out research of the highest international quality standards in the entire range from basic to applied. We will convey knowledge about disciplines and contribute to innovation. Our social mission unites UiT across various studies, research fields and large geographical distances. This demands good cooperation with trade and industry and civil society as well as with international partners. We will strengthen knowledge-based and sustainable development at a regional, national and international level.

Academic freedom and scientific and ethical principles form the basis for all UiT’s activities. Participation, co-determination, transparency and good processes will provide the decision-making basis we need to make wise and far-sighted priorities. Our students and staff will have the opportunity to develop their abilities and potential. Founded on academic integrity, we will be courageous, committed and generous in close contact with disciplines, people and contemporary developments.

We will demonstrate adaptability and seek good and purposeful utilisation of resources, so we are ready to meet the expectations and opportunities of the future. We will strengthen the quality and impact of our disciplines and core tasks through the following three strategic priority areas.

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19th October 2023


UiT The Arctic University of Norway


Tromsø - Romsa


Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)


Fixed Term

Place of service
Lars Thørings veg 10, 9006 Tromsø


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